No Suspects Yet in Firecracker Attack on Anti-Gov’t Protest

Protesters rally at Tha Phra Intersection in Bangkok on Nov. 2, 2020.
Protesters rally at Tha Phra Intersection in Bangkok on Nov. 2, 2020.

BANGKOK — Police said Tuesday they have yet to identify the perpetrator who threw a firecracker at yesterday’s anti-government rally close to the MRT Tha Phra station.

Chaos briefly broke out at Monday’s protest when a loud bang was heard close to where demonstrators were gathering at about 6pm, though no one was injured. Some protesters tried to enter the MRT station and chase after the attacker, but protest volunteer guards stopped them doing so lest the confrontation turns violent.

Deputy metro police commander Jirapat Phumjit said investigators are sifting through security camera footage around the scene, but they have yet to find anyone suspicious, despite dozens of cameras installed at the train station.

“Local police are on the hunt for the suspect,” Maj. Gen. Jirapat said. “A used firecracker was found at the scene below the MRT Thra Phra station and it is widely available in the market.”

Volunteer guards survey damage of the small blast close to Tha Phra Intersection in Bangkok on Nov. 2, 2020.

Jirapat said investigators have not ruled out any motive for the incident, which may include a school rivalry between polytechnic students, local residents affected by the protest, an agent provocateur, or protesters who wanted to fabricate attacks against themselves.

Hundreds of people occupied the Tha Phra intersection on Monday afternoon and insisted on the three demands for resignation of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, charter amendments, and reform of the monarchy institution. 

Apart from the firecracker, the rally proceeded without any violence until they dispersed at 8.30pm.